45 - The Value of Teamworkدوره: Coursera – Learning How to Learn / درس 45
45 - The Value of Teamwork
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This is a CT scan.
If you look carefully, the shadowed region
reveals the damage caused by right
hemisphere ischemic stroke.
Such a stroke can cause an unusual
known as broad-perspective perceptual
disorder of the right hemisphere.
People with this disorder can still
function, but only partially.
They can retain their intelligence, even a
formidable way for solving
complex math problems, if that was a skill
they’d had before.
But an interesting anomaly, however, is if
a mistake in their calculations,
concluding something nonsensical, such as
that a hot dog stand had a, a profit and
loss statement with a loss of nearly a
It doesn’t bother them.
There’s no big picture, click, that says,
a minute, that answer does not make sense.
Although we need to be careful about
faulty and superficial left brain, right
We also don’t want to throw the baby out
with the bath water, and ignore
worthwhile research that gives intriguing
differences between the two hemispheres of
There’s a great deal of evidence from
research that the right hemisphere
helps us step back and put our work into
big picture perspective.
People with damage to the right hemisphere
are often unable to gain ah-ha, insights.
The right hemisphere, as it turns out, is
in getting into the right track and doing
People with strokes can remind us of the
dangers of not
using our full cognitive abilities, which
involve many areas of our brain.
Even subtle avoidance of some of our
can have a surprisingly negative impact on
In some sense, when you whiz through a
homework or test question and don’t go
check your work, you’re acting a little
person who’s refusing to use parts of your
You’re not stopping to take a mental
And then revisit what you’ve done with the
picture in mind to see whether it makes
As leading neuroscientist Vilayanur S
noted, the right hemisphere serves as a
sort of devil’s advocate to question the
status quo and look for global
While the left hemisphere instead tries to
cling tenaciously to the way things were.
This echos the pioneering work of
Michael Gazzaniga who posited that the
interprets the world for us and will go
to great lengths to keep those
When you work in the focus mode, it’s easy
to make minor mistakes in your assumptions
If you go off track early on, it doesn’t
matter if the rest of your work is
Your answer is still wrong.
Sometimes, it’s even laughably wrong.
The equivalent of calculating a
circumference of the
earth that’s only two and a half feet
But these non-sensical results just don’t
matter to you because the more left
centered focus mode has associated with it
a desire to cling to what you’ve done.
That’s the problem with the focus,
a bit left hemisphere leaning mode of
It provides for an analytical and upbeat
approach, but abundant research evidence
suggests there’s a potential for rigidity,
dogmatism, and egocentricity.
When you’re absolutely certain that what
you’ve done on
a homework or test is fine, thank you very
be aware that this feeling may be based on
overly confident perspectives arising in
part from the left hemisphere.
When you step back and recheck, you’re
allowing for more interaction between
the hemispheres, taking advantage of the
special perspectives and abilities of
Nobel Prize winning physicist Richard
Feynman perhaps said it best when he
pointed out, the first principle is that
you must not fool yourself.
And you are the easiest person to fool.
One of the best ways to catch your blind
spots and errors is
to brainstorm and work with others who are
also smartly focused on the topic.
It’s sometimes just not enough to use more
of your own neural horsepower.
Both modes and hemispheres to analyze your
After all, everyone has blind spots.
You’re naively upbeat focused mode can
still skip right over
errors, especially if you’re the one who
committed the original errors.
Worse yet, sometimes you can blindly
got everything nailed down intellectually,
but you haven’t.
This is the kind of thing that can leave
shock when you discover you’ve flunked the
test you thought you aced.
By making it a point to do some of your
friends, you can more easily catch where
your thinking has gone astray.
Friends and teammates can serve as sort
of ever questioning larger scale diffuse
outside your brain that can catch what you
missed, or what you just can’t see.
And of course, explaining to friends helps
build your own understanding.
The importance of working with others
doesn’t just relate to learning.
It’s also important in career building.
A single small tip from a teammate to
take a course from the outstanding
Professor Passionate, or
to check out a new job opening, can
make an extraordinary difference in how
your life unfolds.
A word of warning, however.
Study groups can be powerfully effective
for learning, but if
study sessions turn into socializing
occasions, all bets are off.
Keep small talk to a minimum, get your
group on track.
And finish your work.
If you find that your group meetings start
five to 15 minutes late, members haven’t
the material, and the conversation
consistently veers off
topic, you’re best off to find another
I’m Barbra Oakley, thanks for learning how
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